Local congressional delegation weighs in on State of the Union

Jan 21, 2015

The Western New York congressional delegation is predictably split along party lines when it comes to their thoughts on President Obama's State of the Union address.

President Obama during last night's State of the Union Address
Credit Courtesy of YouTube

Congressman Chris Collins says President Obama needs to "find a way to unify the country as we move forward." In a statement reacting to the president's State of the Union speech, the Republican claims the address was filled with "divisive political rhetoric and unrealistic ideas." Collins contends the president is dividing the country and advocating "class warfare," adding that the president's idea of a bipartisan solution is his way or the highway.

Republican Congressman Tom Reed calls the president's speech a "missed opportunity to discuss the issues that matter most to the families of Western New York." Reed states he's disappointed the president appears to have abandoned a promise to "cut red tape to help states" develop safe, natural gas." Reed also criticized the president's tax the rich mentality, claiming it pits "American against American."

Democratic Congressman Brian Higgins contends the president's agenda strengthens American families and invests in American workers. Higgins praised efforts to open up community colleges, bringing down "tuition roadblocks" for struggling families. Higgins notes though more needs to be done in the areas of medical research and road and highway improvements.

Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand praised the president's State of the Union address. In a statement released to the media, Gillibrand notes "The President's goals for an expanded middle class, a fairer tax system and a better shot for hardworking families should rise above political party." She adds she is "hopeful Congress will use his ideas as a starting point for real action.

Democratic Senator Charles Schumer called the president's address "optimistic, forward-looking and non-partisan." Schumer says "President Obama didn't point any fingers.... he simply said let's come together for the good of America."